The Social Way to Shop – Welcome to Shopcade


It’s more fun than the arcade. You spend money and earn real rewards – not stuffed animals or toy helicopters. Imagine a place where you can show the clothes that you like, to your friends. When your friends buy the items that you have shared, you get rewarded. Want to know more? Welcome to Shopcade.

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It’s a Facebook application that that rewards you for connecting with friends and sharing common interests, across a wide range of categories – anything from books, or clothes, to home and garden or travel products. You can even buy tickets for popular concerts and a variety of other live entertainment choices like comedy shows, Disney on Ice, and college football.

Customizing your Shopcade allows you to keep track of your favorite brands, share items with others across Social Networks, and simultaneously discover new brands to shop from. You can receive and share recommendations about the best brands, products, and trends with your friends, plus you will earn cash when you buy items through your own or a friend’s Shopcade. This could become the new way to shop friends. It is faster than browsing through you favorite brand’s website. You can keep track of all your favorite brands in one place and then shop them at the same time.

What we love most is when you use Shopcade, you are sure to find new and exciting products to enjoy. And it is easy to share what you discover with friends across Twitter and Facebook. We expect a progressive platform like this to expand with user functionality and platform login mobility very soon, so be on the lookout. If you like to shop, and love technology (which you should), click this link and give it a shot – http://www.shopcade.com

Robotics and the Future Ruling Technology Class


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Today we found an article on the “Top Majors for the Class of 2012″. Below is the brief excerpt on the topic of “Robotics” as published by Forbes:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the population will continue to age while young workers will be a smaller part of the labor force. This creates a demand for personal services that simply can’t be met – and robots will fill the void. The advent of personal service robots means that the elderly can live longer on their own before going to retirement homes, and many other industries are turning to robots as well, including the fast-growing health care industry. This will create a huge need for people in the robotics industry, from programming to engineering. For those interested in robotics as it relates to national security, several experts suggest that robot suppression will become a key industry in the future. As Springfield University Professor John Nerdelbaum Frink, Jr. commented a few years ago, “Elementary chaos theory tells us that all robots will eventually turn against their masters and run amok in an orgy of blood and kicking and the biting with the metal teeth and the hurting and shoving.”

This is truly fascinating. They are basically saying that Terminator, I Robot, The Matrix, and Eagle Eye, are all real. The endgame is simple: machines win. Our society continues to build, modify, and re-design machines that are enormously complex and on many levels, free thinking organisms. 30 years ago, computers took up hundreds of feet of space. 30 years later, the iPhone is 3 times as more powerful as that computer, and that’s just a cell phone. We make all of these films and write about an age where technology will finally rule us, but do any of us believe it? It is safe to suppose that anything is possible. One can only hope that we take precaution as we move forward, especially since our actions as a civilization seem to suggest that it is believed to be inevitable. I, Robot was set in 2035…

 

Justin Bieber and One Direction Will Revitalize Pop Music…

01/04/2012 2 comments

Justin Bieber

…just like N’Sync, The Backstreet Boys, and Brittney Spears did. At least some people say they will. We suppose Mr. Bieber already has. He has sold plenty of albums, and already had a fantastically successful tour for millions of screaming fans all around the world.

One Direction

One Direction seems to be headed in the same direction. The British music clan has a sound that is not terrible foreign to the mainstream American music market. But perhaps it is their “boy-band” quality that has all the US girls going crazy. Marketing is a powerful thing, and the music business has figured out how to create hugely successful artists based off of many other things besides music. That is not to say that their music isn’t good, but our culture seems to be longing for the nostalgic sound of the “boy-band” that has truly been lost for almost a decade. Their record “What Makes You Beautiful” debuted at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest for any UK act since Jimmy Ray – do you remember him? Didn’t think so, 1998 was too long ago.

Mr. Beiber is turning heads and ears continually. Many have commented already that his newest single, “Boyfriend” is quite different, and more mature than his previous music. We would like to agree. The sound of this record is more organic, and less electronic than his previous records, and therefore more edgy for the music environment that its being released in. We are surrounded by the influences of Electronica everywhere our ears turn – and while Electronica is lovely in its own right, the time to define the 2010s as a musical decade is now, and that sound in pop music is very much a 2000s thing. Musical decades do not follow traditional calendar alignments. Generally speaking, they extend into each other slightly – e.g. 2002-2012. If you don’t believe us, review your Billboard charts and wait until you hear what the number Billboard Hot 100 record is in January 2013…

The best part about these two musical juggernauts, is that there is speculation they will be collaborating soon…

#Facebook and the New Frontier


As we all should have heard by now, Facebook is going public. If you are not sure what that means, pieces or “shares” of the company can be bought and sold on the open stock market by anyone in the world – hopefully for a profit. The valuation – amount of money a company is estimated to be worth when it hits the stock market – has been speculated to be as high as $100 Billion dollars. Needless to say, that’s a lot of money folks. People all across the globe believe in Mr. Zuckerberg‘s vision of creating a more “connected” world. He is certainly doing that at an unprecedented pace that will truthfully, never be matched again in our lifetime – perhaps in any lifetime. The advertising revenues have grown exponentially, and this could be the biggest initial public offering a private company’s stock in the history of our modern capitalist society.

Still, it could be stated that Facebook’s entire business model is based off of perception, or what investors would called “perceived ROI” – return on investment. This means basically the business model that has been making a few people lots of money over a very short period of time, may not give the shareholders the same type of return over a long period of time. Without a subscription price model, Facebook’s business could eventually regress and see a decline in revenue sales dollars and ultimately profits, because what is to stop some other Zuckerberg from coming up with another new innovative way of sharing information and connecting the world over the next 10 to 20 years – a model that could redefine the way we seek out and digest products and services as consumers just as Facebook has done?

Facebook will be best served to mimic the success of some of it’s peers in regards to overcoming the pending plateau of their business model growth – an issue that all businesses face at some point. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and even Google, have stepped outside of their traditional business models to pursue the frontier that technology consumers seem to always embrace – hardware. The success of the Kindle, the Nook, and Google’s newly developing hardware platform that will support seamless integration between Android and Motorola phones architecture is an idea Facebook should consider exploiting. Imagine a Facebook Tablet, one that supports it’s own browser and apps designed to integrate with your current Facebook account and applications. We already know Facebook has millions of applications. We can read the news on Facebook, chat with friends, video conference, play poker – what else could be next? A Facebook tablet would provide the revenue dollars and profit margin to support the advertising income from the company’s original business model as the transition through an IPO and into the next decade continues. It would also help cut into the profits of companies who are making millions of dollars indirectly, because of Facebook. Imagine if Facebook was unavailable on the iPhone, Android, Kindle, or Nook, and only available on a 6.5 inch Quad-Core powered tablet that would compete with all of the devices above as far as media content, apps, and communication capability. The Facebook Faithful might consider a switch, and the companies mentioned above to some degree, would have to play ball to satisfy the new desires of the consumer.

Some of you may say, “the next decade? 2012 just started!” What you must understand, is that when your company is private, you can follow whatever timeline you see fit to a certain extent. But when your company is owned by the public, institutional investors, private equity firms and the like, you have a lot more questions to answer in regards to where the company is going, where is the vision taking us, and why should we keep our money around during that process.

What to do about Yahoo!


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Some of you may have been reading about Yahoo! in recent weeks. C0-founder Jerry Yang stepped down, citing he wants “to pursue other interests”. That isn’t too unreasonable. He is worth over $1 Billion dollars in a down global economy, and he is a smart guy, so getting into other things after being with a company for 17 years should be allowed. But how has he left that company to fair for itself?

It seems the greatest gift Mr. Yang gave to Yahoo! in recent memory has been his departure. Often battle-worn CEOs stay around their companies for too long, and can lose the fresh, innovative and dynamic fervor that launched them into Fortune 500 power and in this case, “Internet Immortality”. He certainly gets credit for being one of the main creators of the world’s first major, monetized and profitable internet search directory – that’s what they were called in 1999. Though, it can also be stated that his rejection of a $50 Billion offer from Microsoft was a tad, ridiculous. It is documented that he was adamantly opposed to the takeover bid, but might that have been something good for the shareholders? (Yes)

In the capitalist society that we live in, as a CEO, you have got to have the awareness that time is of the essence, windows of opportunity come and go faster than new designs for Intel chips, and when a company comes around offering to double your price, and leave all of those invested with a overwhelming feeling of satisfaction and certainty that they made the right decision to invest, it is your job to make it happen! Funny thing is, Mr. Yang stated that he is “enthusiastic” that Yahoo! will be guided into an “exciting and successful future”. Do you think he realizes that if they return to their massive market share of the early 2000s, that his successor will probably just pull a dump and run himself? Perhaps he left because he knows the sale of his internet love-child was inevitable.

Honestly, in the world of Tech Business, mergers and acquisitions happen more often than in Finance. If the price plummets anymore, any number of companies with better balance sheets and more cash stand to make a solid claim for a stake – or all – of Yahoo! before it fades into the archives of Wikipedia. Microsoft, Google, even Amazon, Ebay, or perhaps Facebook, are all headed by pretty smart executives who could easily make good use of Yahoo! and it’s assets and market share, though it may be minimal at this point. And if it’s pennies on the dollar, anything could happen. 3 months ago, it was reported that Microsoft might be bringing another proposal to the table, and Mr. Yang will not be seated for dinner.

Winter/Spring Fashion 101. Eclub Clothing.


Last week we came across a clothing brand that we thought has some great potential to be an exclusive, broadly appealing product in the world of Fashion. As you know, we love Fashion, and we would like to take the opportunity to recognize Eloquent Club Clothing as the first in our category called, “Fashion Futures”. We like that these pieces are made 1 time and never recreated again. This will help to ensure that Eclub items are not only valuable, but sought after. You may not have heard of this brand now, but they have the potential to be the next hottest thing to take diverse, fashionable hipster-urban shopper’s closet by storm:

Gray Chief Crew

Gray Chief Crewneck. $40.00

Red Hater Crewneck

Red Hater Crewneck. $40.00

F. Haters Beanie

F. Haters Beanie. $20.00

*Limited* Chief Black

*Limited* Chief Black. $27.00

*Limited* Chief White

*Limited* Chief White. $27.00

Only 50 of these T-Shirts were made. http://www.eclubclothing.com/

Top 5 Records of 2011.


On this first day of the new year, there are many topics that could be covered: politics, sports, music – ah yes, music. Last night many of you were dancing the night away in celebration of 2012 to a smorgasbord of dance tunes, though at this moment, we would like to take a second to highlight the best records that graced our ears – dance music or otherwise:

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5. Firework

Our feelings about Katy Perry as an artist are mixed at this particular juncture, though the pervasiveness of her influence on pop culture and music can not be understated, and neither can the effect of this record. Though it was originally released  in October 2010, it last charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 2011. Perry stated that it’s her favorite song on the album, and that it has a “fantastic message”. It was certified platinum is 6 countries, and had just about every adolescent girl in the United States of America obsessively listening to it for at least 2 months, on average. That last stat is pure speculation for the record.

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4. Someone Like You

Adele is a charm, truly. So talented and gifted, many of you may feel like she should be at the #1 spot…but we felt differently. We have seen other blue-eyed soul artists in the past, but none have had quite the same effective in recent memory as this beautiful British vocalist. She has sold nearly 20 million copies of her albums “19″ and “21″. She openly cites various soul singers as influences on her music, and with the type of response she has been getting as of late, there is no telling how far her music can take her. In all honesty, there is no one who can match her vocally on the mainstream music scene. It would be nice however, if her sound was appropriately categorized as “Soul”, though it seems her “appearance” allows her to magically float into the category of pop.

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3. Grenade

Bruno Mars single handedly revitalized Pop/R&B in 2011. His classic approach to soul records, in a contemporary pop context was incredible. The emotional merit of “Grenade” was unmatched as far as R&B records were concerned last year. His proficiency as a songwriter and performer is super-ceded only by the passionate redeeming and yet powerful vocal qualities he possesses. Mars stated in an interview that “Grenade’ represents the OTHER side of love – where you’re in love with a woman and you know for a fact that she doesn’t love you the way you love HER.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

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2. We Found Love

For many reasons this could have been #1, but the #1 song is just too good. Nonetheless, Rihanna made an impressive display on this record, though for the umpteenth consecutive time, she received zero writing credits to match her vocal contribution, which has become the standard for her and her most successful chart-topping singles. Luckily for her, mainstream pop music is being taken over by House music – which by the way is a derivation of Black disco records, formed out newly developed music technology and the record crates of Black post-disco DJs in the last 1970s and early 1980s. Then enters Calvin Harris, a House DJ who apparently has a very clean knack for writing pop lyrics, granted Rihanna’s records mostly sell because of how she looks, it can not be taken away from him that his “We found love in a hopeless place” line was instantly classic, and found a home in many broken and nostalgic hearts of listeners around the world. It held the #1 spot on the Hot 100 chart for 8 weeks, and will probably remain in the top 40 well into the late Spring/early Summer.

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1. Need You Now

This is just a phenomenal record. This is what you call a timeless record, because it will transcend the boundaries of time and genre. Everyone can relate to this song. It peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 chart, stuck behind a Taio Cruz record. Even though we love Taio, that just doesn’t seem correct. This is easily the greatest crossover success in 2011.  Though this song was released in 2009, it was still eligible for the 2011 GRAMMYs because of its re-release in a pop radio format. The record cleaned up at the GRAMMYs, earning Best Country Song, Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year – and that’s saying a lot considering the nominees and the fact that this is at it’s core, a country song. Truth abides in every lyric of this song, and even if you aren’t a fan of Nashville, you would be foolish to deny the character of the sound, and the authenticity of the emotion.

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